4 busted in Henrico cigarette trafficking operation

Published: May. 5, 2016 at 10:02 PM EDT|Updated: May. 15, 2016 at 10:02 PM EDT
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico Police say they have arrested three people after an investigation into illegal cigarette trafficking. A fourth person was arrested in New York.

Police launched the investigation in fall of 2015 and found that an organization was purchasing large quantities of tax-exempt cigarettes in Richmond and transporting them to New York City. The operation involved millions of dollars worth of cigarettes.

Police have charged: Qiuyue Chen, 35; Fu Chen, 42; and Ihab Samir Abou El Ela, 43. They face several charges, including racketeering and cigarette trafficking. The Chens also face charges of money laundering and purchasing cigarettes under a fictitious business.

Police in Brooklyn, NY also arrested Song Zheng, 37. He is charged with cigarette trafficking.

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